Well it depends what resolutions you play at . If they are not that high, then its not worth it. Also depends if you turn AA on or not. Since the 7850 is not a top tier card, if would not be wise to crank up AA anyways. If you are considering a 2gb version, might as well just upgrade to a radeon 7870.
So your best choices are to get a 7850 1gb or a 7870
Nothing will last for ever, if you get 3+years your doing good. In this case I think your good for 2-4 years. Of course if some new hot game you want to play comes out tomorrow that is very demanding all bets are off, lol.
1) It's a SMALL difference in price to get 2GB so yes, get it.
2) Far Cry 3 is the MOST demanding game at the moment. You are not going to get anywhere near high with that graphics card.
3) OTHER GAMES can be run on their highest settings.
4) "Future Proof" is a relative meaning. In the case of video card memory (VRAM) it's confusing. Yes, we're using more VRAM than we have in the past, on the other hard the main video processor (the GPU) still has to be fast enough to process that information.
5) TWEAKING - Do NOT make the common mistake of cranking up the visuals then getting severe stuttering. Run FRAPS to monitor. There are several choices though:
a) VSYNC to 60FPS ( to avoid tearing; benchmark to get about 65 to 70FPS on average without VSYNC then turn VSYNC on.)
b) VSYNC at 30FPS (similar to above. In NVidia this is a "Half Vsync method"; I'm not sure about AMD. If the new CCC can't then RadeonPro can.)
c) VSYNC OFF and run at about 40FPS (40FPS is considered the MINIMUM by many for fast gaming like shooters. However, you can also get severe SCREEN TEARING.)
*There are several graphics options that can be very demanding. For example, 8xAA (anti-aliasing) is far more demanding than 4xAA. There's an optimal BALANCE for the best quality in a game at the goal frame rate (i.e. 40FPS). However, in the case of some games (i.e. Bioshock) your system can simply crank up to the maximum at 60FPS VSYNC'd.
6) RadeonPro: A very useful, free tool that I mainly used to:
a) VSYNC (in games that didn't support it such as Witcher Enhanced)
b) AA (Anti-Aliasing in games that didn't support it such as Mass Effect 1. In that case I recommend SUPERSAMPLING)
c) HALF VSYNC (synch to 30FPS instead of 60FPS. *Note that Far Cry 3 with VSYNC ON will synch to 60FPS if possible but 30FPS if not. You'd likely be on LOW/Medium at 30FPS).
- Yes, get 2GB.
- Future Proofed? (Not exactly)
- Far Cry 3? (you may be disappointed)
- *Many OTHER games will run at Full Quality or near it on your rig.
- tweaking methods (VSYNC, Fraps, Frame Rate)
I decided to test some settings so I could give you some better info. Points:
- GTX680 (Asus TOP, about 12% faster than stock 680)
- i7-3770K (at 4.1GHz)
- 16GB DDR3 @2133MHz (low-latency)
*For benchmark purposes look for a "680 OC" card and compare to an HD7850 if you can find a benchmark with both cards.
1. Unlike some games, I found playing WITHOUT VSYNC causes too much screen tearing.
2. I initially tweaked to the following settings:
- VSYNC (1), GPU (2 screens buffered)
- (I forget the rest)
How it PLAYED:
I was disappointed. My monitor is 27" so perhaps some things stand out more, however I found two distracting issues:
1) The SHADOWS flickered, and some objects suddenly had strange "dirty" shadows when I got close.
2) The frame rate was still problematic. I could NOT play with VSYNC disabled (screen tearing) however I was still dropping to 30FPS so I was toggling between SMOOTH 60FPS gameplay and SLUGGISH 30FPS gameplay.
At this point I thought "I can probably tweak this to maintain 60FPS" but for YOU I'm wondering if an HD7850 would be adequate.
My guess would be that you'd get perhaps HALF the framerate so I'm not sure how it would play. You would definitely drop to LOW or MEDIUM settings.
I'm just telling my experience. You may be quite happy with the way it performs on your system. While this game looked BETTER than most games on HIGH or above it strangely can't be made to look and play great on lower-end cards like many other games.
I think they set the minimum bar too high for this game in terms of quality. Take all this for what it's worth, however I recommend you consider looking at DIFFERENT games and pick this up in the bargain bin on your next PC (or with a GTX780/HD8970 graphics card.)